Investor's wiki

Common Resource

Common Resource

What Is a Common Resource?

A common resource (or the "commons") is any scant resource, for example, water or field, that gives users unmistakable benefits however which no one specifically possesses or has exclusive claim to. A major concern with common resources is abuse, particularly when there are poor social-administration systems in place to safeguard the core resource.

A common resource may likewise go by the term open-access resource.

Common Resources Explained

Common resources are those that nobody individual or organization can make a case for. These may incorporate public spaces, (for example, parks or nature protects), certain natural resources (like fish in the sea, etc.

Abuse of common resources frequently prompts economic problems, for example, the tragedy of the commons, where client self-interest prompts the destruction of the resource in the long term, to the detriment of everybody.

The tragedy of the commons is an economic problem wherein each individual has an incentive to consume a resource to the detriment of each and every individual with no real way to bar anybody from consuming. It brings about over-utilization, under-speculation, and ultimately depletion of the resource. As the demand for the resource overpowers the supply, each individual who consumes an extra unit straightforwardly hurts other people who can never again partake in the benefits. Generally, the resource of interest is effectively accessible to all individuals; the tragedy of the commons happens when individuals neglect the prosperity of society chasing after personal gain.

History for Context

A little history can give us some specific circumstance. Albeit technically made by Garrett Hardin, "the tragedy of the commons," originated with Adam Smith, who many credit as the dad of economics. Smith's original work centered around the interchange of individuals and private economic agents taking advantage of scant and rival common resources (environmental) for their own rational, self-interested purposes, leading to over-creation and, ultimately, the possibility of an irreversible depletion of limited resources.

The root of this dilemma comes from lacking and poorly protected property rights, which in the eighteenth century were not well characterized and difficult to authorize (by the present standards). As the theory goes, in light of the fact that consumers don't claim common goods, they have minimal incentive to protect or duplicate them. Rather, there is an incentive to extricate maximum personal utility or benefit while you actually can.

A self-evident and piercing ramifications yet today are breaks in capitalist systems. Sadly, his "undetectable hand" doesn't necessarily go after self-interested, rational activities to socially optimal results, rather, as delineated by the tragedy of the commons, market disappointments and the inefficient allocation of scant resources is an awful reality.


  • A common resource is one that can give benefit to society yet which isn't owned by anyone specifically.
  • Since anyone can partake in its utilization in common, the risk of over-utilization and ultimate depletion of common resources is a big concern.
  • This concern has been formalized under the concept of the "tragedy of the commons."